subscriptions http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8246/all en-US 5 Smart Ways to Meet a Rewards Card Minimum Spending Requirement http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_card_635966732.jpg" alt="Woman meeting her credit card&#039;s minimum spending requirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're new to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips?ref=internal" target="_blank">chasing credit card rewards</a>, it can feel like there's a lot to learn at once. One of the fastest ways to earn credit card rewards points is through a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal">sign-up bonus</a>. This is a big slew of points you'll get from a new card if you spend a certain amount on that card within a specified period of time &mdash; often the first three months. The spending requirement could be anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the card.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">How I Redeemed a $12,000 Family Vacation With Credit Card Rewards in 2 Months</a></p> <p>Of course, the whole idea for earning points that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">translate into travel rewards</a> is to spend less. It's counterproductive to go into debt just to meet a minimum spending requirement. That's why the tips below relate to things you're likely <em>already </em>spending on, not additional expenses that will break your budget. You should never let a balance accrue on a credit card just to get rewards. You will never come out ahead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Steps to Getting a Free Vacation in 9 Months or Less With Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Start With Everyday Expenses</h2> <p>Chances are you can get a significant fraction of the way to meeting your minimum requirement just by putting your regular expenses on your credit card whenever you can.</p> <p>If you're conditioned to paying for things in cash, it's time to break that habit since you're missing out on tons of potential points-earning opportunities. This means putting all your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=internal" target="_blank">grocery purchases on your card</a>. Same for when you pay for gas, dry cleaning, prescriptions, or any of your other regular expenses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards to Use for Everyday Expenses</a>)</p> <h2>2. Pay Your Bills With Your Card</h2> <p>The same is true for monthly bills like your Internet, Netflix, cellphone, cable, etc. If you have automated payments set up, update them with your new card. For any other bills, see if there's an option to pay with a credit card instead of a checking account. Watch out for any fees charged for credit card payments, though. It's usually not worth it.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></p> <h2>3. Let Little Things Add Up</h2> <p>If you use Uber or Lyft to get around, make sure you update your payment method so that it is linked to your new credit card. The same goes for other apps that you are using to make payments, as small as they may be. If you use Venmo to pay individuals or iTunes for the occasional song download, you'll want to link them to your new card, too, so you'll be earning points toward rewards even when you're not thinking about it.</p> <h2>4. Prepay Current Subscriptions</h2> <p>If you have the extra cash to pay for subscriptions up front, you'll not only help meet the spending requirement, but may score a discount in the process. Many services offer a discount for prepaying.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">10 Ways to Get Free or Almost Free Airline Tickets</a></p> <h2>5. Buy Gift Cards</h2> <p>Buying gift cards is a straightforward way to earn points toward reaching your minimum balance. You are spending money now by purchasing the card, which you can then use later. Due to fraud concerns, many brick-and-mortar retailers no longer take credit cards for gift card purchases, but many e-tailers, including Amazon, will.</p> <p>Again, the most important thing to remember is to only spend what you can pay off every month. Make your payments on time, so you don't accrue interest or late payment fees that will obliterate any rewards you get for your purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways Anyone Can Travel for Free</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-pay-your-bills-with-a-credit-card">Should You Pay Your Bills With a Credit Card?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-make-these-6-credit-card-sign-up-bonus-mistakes">Don&#039;t Make These 6 Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-man-used-credit-card-rewards-to-go-to-the-last-11-super-bowls">How One Man Used Credit Card Rewards to Go to the Last 11 Super Bowls</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards bills free travel gift cards groceries hacks minimum spending requirement points rewards sign up bonuses subscriptions Fri, 13 Jan 2017 10:00:13 +0000 Nick Wharton 1870054 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Gifts That Won't Become Clutter http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-498764046.jpg" alt="these minimalist gifts won&#039;t become clutter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you come from a family of minimalists? Do you live under the stairs like Harry Potter? Do you simply want less stuff in your home? Your friends and family may feel the same way. Here's a handy list of gifts that won't gather dust.</p> <h2>1. Anything on the Wish List</h2> <p>People spend a lot of time and thought assembling their gift lists. Respect that. A study by researchers at Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas at Austin found that when buying wedding gifts, the people closest to the bride and groom are the most likely to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/05/10/why-your-close-friends-always-buy-you-such-crummy-gifts/?utm_term=.40b205cef386" target="_blank">buy gifts off the registry</a> in order to express their close relationship with the recipients. The same study also shows that gift recipients are <em>less </em>happy with unique gifts than if they had just received something from their registry. Why would you ever want to make anyone less happy?</p> <p>If you're one of these people trying to cut down on the clutter, lead by example and set up a gift registry for yourself. By sharing your wish list, you not only limit what comes into your house, but it makes it easy to casually ask what everyone in your life really wants.</p> <p>Years ago, when I was setting up my first apartment, I registered myself for wedding gifts at Williams-Sonoma. Back in the days before the Internet, no one used gift registries for single people. They just didn't exist. I had to use the wedding registry form at the store to create my apartment wish list. When I told my friends and family, most of them were mortified. A gift registry for a single girl? How unseemly! However, it was the first year that I got everything that I wanted for the holidays and my birthday. Moral of the story: Ignore the negsters and stick to your guns about your registry.</p> <h2>2. Cash Money</h2> <p>Don't ask me how I know this, but gift cards are easy to lose in a messy house. I've lost conservatively a bazillion dollars in gift card and store credit value in my life. I have yet to lose one single paper currency gift.</p> <h2>3. A Night (or Day) Out</h2> <p>I can count on one hand the number of people I know who aren't completely overworked. While most people can't afford to give even themselves a needed vacation, a great night out can be just the break that people need to recharge.</p> <p>I love to take my friends out to lunch for their birthdays. Because many of my friends have super busy schedules, it's a great excuse to spend quality time with people I care about.</p> <p>I have friends who share their season tickets as their go-to gift. My friend Ellen buys two season tickets to the Hollywood Bowl each year. She then sends out the concert schedule to all of her friends so they can choose which show they want to see as her guest. My friend Ryan does the same thing with his season tickets to the Dodgers. My friend Andrew takes his friends and family to the Huntington Gardens for tours, museum events, and an occasional high tea. Sharing season tickets involves a lot of scheduling, but it's a gift that you get to enjoy with the recipients. As a bonus, this gift also benefits the organizations that you care about.</p> <p>A memorable day out doesn't have to be costly. Attend a free concert or set up a hiking date.</p> <h2>4. Digital Subscriptions</h2> <p>Digital subscriptions to magazines and entertainment companies like Audible, Steam, and Netflix are great gifts for people who live in small spaces. In addition to taking up no physical space, digital subscriptions can provide hours of entertainment throughout the year.</p> <p>Looking beyond entertainment subscriptions, there are a variety of other services that run on a subscription model. Offer to pay for a year's subscription to reference sites like imdbPro or for digital tools like Adobe Photoshop.</p> <p>I just received a 23andMe DNA testing kit in the mail. It was sent anonymously, with the message &quot;Happy Birthday&quot; noted on the invoice. I texted my adopted sister; she is a big fan of the service. &quot;Did you send me a DNA test?&quot; &quot;Hmmmmm, was it me or another mystery sister?&quot; she texted back. We both agree that we're probably distant cousins on our Neanderthal side.</p> <p>If you can't afford the cost of a gift subscription, there is an excellent, cost-free option: Curate a list of free podcasts. My best friend spends a lot of time in the car for work. She is a rabid fan of podcasts for education and entertainment. This year she asked me if I would listen along with her to <a href="http://ohwitchplease.ca/" target="_blank">Witch, Please</a>, a fortnightly podcast about the Harry Potter universe that is hosted by two potty-mouthed college professors. We spent an entire month listening to the podcasts and then debating important topics like whether the wizards, as described in the books, wear pants under their robes, and if puberty and Voldemort are equally evil forces.</p> <h2>5. Give the Gift of Education</h2> <p>My parents believe that the two lasting gifts you can give your children are love and a good education. I think this is true. Education, like love, might not make you richer, but it will make your life more interesting.</p> <p>The gift can be as large as a college scholarship or as small as a single knitting class at your local craft store. Two of my friends have asked me to teach them how to make homemade sauerkraut as their Christmas present this year.</p> <p>If you take a class with someone you love, it can be a present for you, too. When my best friend and I were 13, we obsessively read every Agatha Christie mystery. We were less into the whodunit than we were the Downton Abbey-esque universe of Hercule Poirot and his friends. The transcontinental train rides, the Mah Jongg games, the constant tea drinking all seemed so glamorous. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of our friendship, we took a Mah Jongg class together, a game we still enjoy playing years later.</p> <p>Don't forget about online classes. Lynda.com has 4000 different courses in business, technology, and creative skills. Audible carries Pimsleur language courses at a discount.</p> <h2>6. Donate to a Charity in Their Name</h2> <p>Donating to charity is a nice way to make friends feel remembered at the holidays and also spread the holiday cheer to people who need help. If you need help choosing a worthy cause, <a href="https://www.charitywatch.org/top-rated-charities" target="_blank">Charity Watch</a> keeps a list of top-rated charities that spans a huge number of categories.</p> <h2>7. Make New Holiday Traditions<strong> </strong></h2> <p>In 2001, to address the Christmas elephant in the room &mdash; an elephant that we can't actually see because it's hidden under a pile of half-completed craft projects and books we intend to read very soon &mdash; my hoarder family took a radical step: We stopped giving Christmas gifts to each other. Even the kids. This is the nuclear option. But for families who can make the psychological jump, a No Gifts Christmas can totally change the way you feel about the holiday&hellip;for the better.</p> <p>For 15 straight years my family's No Gifts Christmas tradition has made the holiday season merrier for my relatives and me. There are countless ways to experience the spirit of the season that don't involve clutter. We have less stress and a lot more fun than when we had to shop for each other. Oh, and money. Did I mention <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor" target="_blank">we have a lot more money</a>? And empty floor space. Empty floor space in my house is priceless.</p> <h2>8. The Gift of Time</h2> <p>No one loves chores. That's why they are called chores instead of hobbies. Give the gift of time by helping your friends complete their own to-do lists.</p> <p>This year for my birthday my friend Señor Amor helped me hang curtains in my dining room. It was an all day ordeal. I can't imagine how long it would have taken me to do the job by myself. Every time I look at those drapes, I have a nice reminder of our friendship.</p> <p>My friend Crickett and I recently discussed our mutual hatred for filing. For our holiday gift to one another, we're going to help each other organize the piles of paperwork taking up precious real estate on our desks. If we have to suffer, at least we don't have to do it alone.</p> <h2>9. Just Ask</h2> <p>Even minimalists have wish lists. If you don't mind ruining the surprise, just ask.</p> <p>Don't get me wrong; surprises are great. But who prefers to be surprised by a gift she doesn't want over something she's been pining to own? You cannot deny there is a certain satisfaction to getting exactly what you want. If your soul requires that every gift contain the element of surprise, then stake out your friends' Amazon wish list, Pinterest page, or Etsy favorites. Or, just be a good listener.</p> <p>My friend Todd, a professional organizer who works with hoarders, is a master at choosing clutter-free gifts. He gives me two gigantic, 36-count packages of toilet paper from Costco every year for my birthday. Back when we were in college, I had mentioned to him that never having to buy toilet paper would be weirdly luxurious.</p> <p>Now, I don't remember saying this, but I do hate spending money on boring things like cleaning supplies. And, even if I never said it, can I tell you? Never buying your own toilet paper is luxurious.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts">9 Ways to Use Miles and Points for Holiday Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wrap-gifts-with-leftovers">How to wrap gifts with leftovers.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Organization Shopping charities classes clutter gifts Holidays presents subscriptions thoughtful gifts unique gifts wish lists Mon, 19 Dec 2016 11:30:07 +0000 Max Wong 1856079 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Use Miles and Points for Holiday Gifts http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_christmas_shopping_621576836.jpg" alt="Woman using miles and points for holiday gifts" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Although shopping isn't always the best way to get value out of your credit card or other loyalty rewards &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-to-making-the-most-of-your-reward-miles">international flights and upgrades</a> typically get more punch for the point &mdash; there are lots of good reasons to consider spending some points on holiday gifts.</p> <p>If you're short on cash, tapping your miles and points is an easy way to come through for loved ones without racking up debt. It's a sneaky way to treat a spouse who shares your checking and credit accounts without having a bill for the &quot;gift&quot; arrive in January. Shopping can also be an expedient way to use up small caches of points that might otherwise expire, which should be part of your year-end financial cleanup anyway.</p> <p>Check out some of these easy ways to turn points into presents under the tree.</p> <h2>1. Shop Amazon With Points</h2> <p>This is so easy that even I, usually a die hard &quot;save points for travel&quot; girl, bought my kids some toys using this method this year. Some credit cards allow you to link your Amazon account directly to easily use points for purchases. Amazon is also a popular vendor in shopping portals. Check your credit card issuer to see if they have a members-only shopping portal that allows you to use points (or earn bonus ones) when you shop with their partners.</p> <h2>2. Buy Gift Cards With Points</h2> <p>Many rewards programs offer gift cards as a redemption option. You can usually exchange your points at a $0.01 rate, so if you have 500 points, you can usually get a $5 gift card to a popular store, like Starbucks, Home Depot, or Banana Republic. Make sure to check whether your gift cards will arrive by mail or email, and if by mail, when they will be shipped.</p> <h2>3. Hit Macy's With Plenti</h2> <p>Introduced by American Express in 2015, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/plenti-one-rewards-program-to-rule-them-all?ref=internal">Plenti is a rewards program</a> that allows members to earn and spend rewards at a number of businesses, including Macy's, Rite Aid, ExxonMobil, and more. You don't need an Amex card to join. If you have Plenti rewards, you can buy gifts in-store or online at Macy's or Rite Aid at a rate of about $10 for every 1,000 points. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-new-rewards-card-partnered-with-tons-of-retailers-the-plenti-credit-card-from-amex?ref=internal">Plenti Credit Card from Amex</a> will get you even more points when shopping with Plenti partners.</p> <h2>4. Give the Gift of Travel</h2> <p>If you have a lot of points, you can always use them where you get the best value: airline flights. This is a great gift idea for a loved one you'd like to visit you. Simply use your points to book a ticket in his name. Southwest is a good candidate for this kind of gift, since your recipient can change the flight itinerary at no charge if your proposed travel dates don't work. You can earn Southwest Rapid Rewards with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-domestic-frequent-flyer-program-southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-premier-credit-card?ref=internal">Southwest Credit Card</a>, or by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to your Rapid Rewards account.</p> <h2>5. Give Subscriptions</h2> <p>If you have a few points close to expiration, you may have received an offer in the mail to trade points for magazine and newspaper subscriptions. This is a good way to squeeze some value out of miles for an airline you're unlikely to fly, or points from any program where you don't expect to accumulate enough to redeem anything big.</p> <p>For instance, while 3,200 miles is not enough for even a short flight on American Airlines, it can get you a yearlong subscription to The Wall Street Journal, a $278 value. Through <a href="https://www2.magsformiles.com/index.html?utm_source=expired&amp;utm_medium=10024767">Mags for Miles</a>, you can redeem United, Spirit, and a number of other types of miles for People, Sports Illustrated, or many other titles. This is a particularly good idea for Spirit miles, since they expire quickly.</p> <h2>6. Redeem Points for Merchandise</h2> <p>This usually ends up giving you the <em>worst </em>value for your points, but if it prevents you from actually spending your cash, it can still be worthwhile. Look at your options for points redemption, and you'll usually find a &quot;merchandise&quot; option, which lists gadgets and gifts you can get with your points. If the gift you really want to get is there, or you really wouldn't be able to use the points in a better way, why not?</p> <h2>7. Give Exclusive Experiences</h2> <p>Sometimes Broadway shows, sporting events, and other experience vendors offer exclusive opportunities to cardholders. For instance, in San Francisco, hard-to-get Hamilton tickets were recently offered on pre-sale to Amex cardholders only. Chase cardmembers were also recently offered a VIP experience at the Sundance Film Festival.</p> <h2>8. Redeem Points for Cash</h2> <p>Even if your credit card isn't labeled a &quot;cash back&quot; credit card, you may still be able to redeem your points for cash or a statement credit. Sometimes they don't advertise this option, so dig a little into their rewards center to see whether it's an option. You simply shop normally for your gifts &mdash; except without denting your checking account.</p> <h2>9. Make a Donation</h2> <p>If your giftee is the type of person who would appreciate a charitable donation in their name, many issuers will allow you to donate your points to charities. Check your rewards center for options and availability.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter">9 Gifts That Won&#039;t Become Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-skills-you-need-to-survive-black-friday">8 Frugal Skills You Need to Survive Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-ways-to-save-money-but-still-get-what-you-want-during-holiday-shopping">25+ Easy Ways to Save Money But Still Get What You Want During Holiday Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gift-giving-for-the-truly-broke">14 Gift Ideas for the Truly Broke</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon cash back charities christmas shopping gifts holiday shopping miles rewards subscriptions Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1850499 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Money Leaks You Need to Plug http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-leaks-you-need-to-plug <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-money-leaks-you-need-to-plug" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_empty_wallet_101494811.jpg" alt="Man finding money leaks he needs to plug" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to tighten your budget, but can't figure out where you can save money? Look for leaks in your budget &mdash; places where money is slowly but surely leaking out. Here are seven places to start:</p> <h2>1. Insurance on Old Vehicles</h2> <p>Have cars or trucks sitting in your garage, driveway, or backyard that rarely or never get road time? Or maybe you're paying insurance on other types of vehicles &mdash; like boats or motorcycles &mdash; that have become permanent fixtures on your landscape. If this situation sounds familiar and you're still carrying insurance on these vehicles, it's time to make a decision. Either cut the insurance and put a tarp over the machine(s) for preservation, or put it up for sale so you can make a few bucks.</p> <h2>2. Bank Fees and Out-of-Network ATMs</h2> <p>Many checking and savings accounts have maintenance fees related to a minimum balance, and if you don't keep that minimum in the account, you'll be charged the fee &mdash; and you may not even realize it. For instance, last year I upgraded my savings account to a higher-yield savings account that pays more interest, but I recently took out a large sum of that savings for a down payment on a home. Unbeknown to me, the new savings account charges a $12 monthly fee for not keeping a minimum balance of $10,000, which I was quick to flag, and I reverted back to my previous account until I've replenished my savings to accommodate the higher-year account's requirements. Now, $12 a month may not seem like a big deal, but if you let it go too long, it really adds up. It's worth calling your bank or sitting down with an in-bank representative to discuss your accounts' requirements and to ask about what types of accounts best suit your needs.</p> <p>Another way you can plug money leaks from your account is to avoid ATMs that charge a fee for use. I've seen service fees upward of $10 at some ATMs, and that's not counting the fee that your bank may also charge &mdash; my institution's is $2.50 per transaction &mdash; every time you use an out-of-network ATM. If you need quick cash (like for a night out, for example), try to remember to go to your home back earlier in the day or stop by a convenience store, like Rite-Aid or 7-11, and use the cash back option if you're on the go.</p> <h2>3. Unused Memberships and Subscriptions</h2> <p>Over the past several years, the availability of membership and subscription services has skyrocketed thanks to our increasing attachment to mobile devices. Services like Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, and more extract their monthly fees from our bank accounts, and that can be dangerous if the price is not justified by the amount we use a particular service. If you lost your interest in an existing subscription, cancel it. This also applies to traditional month-to-month memberships too, like your gym. If you're not using them on a consistent basis, put them on hold until you get back on track or end them so you're not paying for rather pricey services you're not receiving.</p> <h2>4. Credit Card Interest and Late Payments</h2> <p>Avoiding <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal">credit card interest</a> and late payments should be a top priority when you're trying to stop hemorrhaging cash. Maybe you can make up the difference by plugging up the other money leaks listed in this article. But, if that's not feasible or if you fall short, consider picking up a side gig, like pet sitting using services like Rover.com and Dog Vacay or becoming an independent taxi service with Uber or Lyft. I personally do both, and the money I've made from these &quot;extracurriculars&quot; has helped me pay off bills and put a substantial amount of money in my savings account.</p> <h2>5. Mobile Data Overages and Outdated Plans</h2> <p>Many of my friends complain about never having enough data and subsequently having to pay for overages. It's annoying for them because either they have to suck up the cost of going over, or cut back on their data usage, which becomes quite prohibitive after a while. In addition, if you've had the same mobile plan for a while, now is a good time to call your provider to see what savings are available. Last year, I called my mobile provider to inquire about my plan, which had remained the same for about 10 years, and I was happy to come off the call with about $8 in savings per month moving forward.</p> <h2>6. Wasted and Spoiled Groceries</h2> <p>I know far too many people who have pantries packed to the brim with boxed and canned goods that are many years old &mdash; and many years past their expiration dates &mdash; who continue to purchase even more boxed and canned goods every time they visit the supermarket. It's pure nonsense.</p> <p>First step, clean out your pantry! Throw out what's expired and the things you know you're not going to eat (or deliver the still-edible goods to a local food pantry), then bring whatever's left to the front of the pantry to be consumed immediately. Next, stop buying items for which you don't have specific plans; this also includes perishable foods. If you not sure when you're going to eat something, why are you buying it? Just in case? <em>Just in case</em> is how you spend way more than you need to at the supermarket. Make a list, check it twice, and stick to it when you next go grocery shopping.</p> <h2>7. Vampire Energy Consumption</h2> <p>Is your air conditioner constantly running &mdash; even when you're not home? Do you treat the heat the same way in the winter? TV left on? Dryer turned to high? Faucets dripping? Everything plugged into outlets even when they're not in use?</p> <p>Every time you quietly answered yes to those questions, it costs you money. To curb your energy consumption, make sure everything is off when you leave the house. Also, unplug non-daily-use electronics and appliances &mdash; like that nightstand lamp that you never use &mdash; so they're not eating up electricity for no reason. And for goodness sake, fix water and air leaks around the house so you're not almost literally throwing money out the window or down the drain. Be mindful of other ways you may be consuming more energy than you need to, like turning off porch lights, adjusting the temperature in your fridge and freezer, cleaning air filters, and using more efficient cycles on the dishwasher and washing machine if a lower setting will get the job done.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-leaks-you-need-to-plug">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pets-old-cars-and-3-other-common-money-pits">Pets, Old Cars, and 3 Other Common Money Pits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-americans-spend-too-much-on">5 Things Americans Spend Too Much On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sleek-marketing-ploys-aimed-at-getting-more-of-your-grocery-money">5 Sleek Marketing Ploys Aimed at Getting More of Your Grocery Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-ways-to-stay-warm-and-reduce-the-heating-bill">Six Ways to Stay Warm and Reduce the Heating Bill</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living atms bank fees car insurance data energy food waste groceries late payments memberships money leaks subscriptions wasting money Thu, 15 Sep 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Mikey Rox 1793090 at http://www.wisebread.com 21 Fresh Food Delivery Services That Can Save You Big http://www.wisebread.com/21-fresh-food-delivery-services-that-can-save-you-big <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/21-fresh-food-delivery-services-that-can-save-you-big" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_grcoery_bag_000018272858_0.jpg" alt="Woman using fresh food delivery service to save her big" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Food delivery services help you stick to your grocery budget, avoid impulse buys, and even save on gas. We've covered some of the best below, and most of them offer free trials. So what are you waiting for?!</p> <h2>1. Instacart</h2> <p><a href="https://www.instacart.com/">Instacart</a> works by connecting you with a local personal shopper in your area. They handpick the best produce and groceries available, so you can expect the best quality. However, if they cannot find the item you need, most personal shoppers will not send a replacement item.</p> <p>While many shoppers agree you won't always find the lowest prices at Instacart, most do find that their excellent customer service is worth the slightly higher price tag. With Instacart, you can choose and rate your personal shoppers, compare prices and selection at a range of stores, and even shop at Costco without a membership card. You can schedule delivery within the hour, in two hours, or at a time most convenient for you. They offer delivery in <a href="https://www.instacart.com/help/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&amp;q=cities#204245324">many major cities</a> throughout the U.S.</p> <p>You can enjoy free delivery if you pay $99 per year for Instacart Express. Otherwise, delivery starts at $3.99 for orders over $35, and $7.99 on orders under $35. They also charge a few dollars more for delivery during the busiest times of the day, which they call &quot;Busy Pricing.&quot; The minimum order required is only $10, and you can get your first delivery for free to try out the service with no commitment.</p> <h2>2. AmazonFresh</h2> <p>For the steep cost of $299 per year, you'll receive unlimited free deliveries on orders over $50, cheaper groceries, an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DBYBNEE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DBYBNEE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=F23PKFCO4YAUVB33">AmazonPrime</a> membership, and a free Dash. <a href="https://fresh.amazon.com/dash/">Dash</a> is a unique tool that allows you to quickly add groceries to your cart by scanning a barcode or speaking into the device.</p> <p><a href="http://fresh.amazon.com">AmazonFresh</a> offers prices lower than most delivery services and has an unrivaled selection of products. They can even deliver items from local shops and restaurants. If you already have Amazon Prime, you can enjoy a one-month free trial of AmazonFresh with no commitment. They claim to offer same-day delivery, but usually, you will have to wait one to two days. They currently deliver to most metropolitan areas and are expanding their service area constantly, so <a href="https://fresh.amazon.com/checkAddress">check your address</a> to see if they deliver to you.</p> <h2>3. Safeway</h2> <p>At <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10471837-1423095658000">Safeway</a>, you will find prices that are better than Instacart, but not quite as low as AmazonFresh. On the other hand, there are no annual charges &mdash; only delivery, which may save you money in the end. They offer $12.95 delivery on orders under $150, and $9.95 delivery on orders over $150. Use <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10471837-1423095658000">code EASY7 for free delivery</a> on your first order.</p> <p>They do offer same-day delivery, but if you're flexible with time, you can save as much as $6. If you include five &quot;participating products&quot; in your order, delivery is also free. Both Safeway (and Vons, a subdivision) offer a great selection of products. You can also place your order on the Safeway app for added convenience.</p> <h2>4. Peapod</h2> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10782119-1406910980000">Peapod</a> offers affordable prices comparable to what you'd find at the local grocery store. However, they have the highest required minimum order of $60, so they aren't ideal for last-minute shopping. Delivery costs are $9.95 on orders under $100, and $6.95 on orders $100 or more. If you're willing to pick up your order, they'll only charge $2.95 to pack your groceries for you, but you'll miss out on the convenience of delivery. Peapod serves many major cities in the Northeast, as well as select areas of Wisconsin and Illinois.</p> <h2>5. Local Favorites</h2> <p>Some other notable grocery delivery services that are available in select cities include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.google.com/express/">Google Express</a> &mdash; Select cities</li> <li><a href="http://grocery.walmart.com/usd-estore/m/home/anonymouslanding.jsp">WalmartToGo</a> &mdash; Select cities</li> <li><a href="https://www.freshdirect.com/index.jsp">FreshDirect</a> &mdash; New York City and Philadelphia</li> <li><a href="https://www.goodeggs.com/welcome">Good Eggs</a> &mdash; San Francisco</li> <li><a href="http://www.pinkdot.com/">Pink Dot</a> &mdash; Los Angeles</li> <li><a href="https://www.helloenvoy.com/">Envoy</a> &mdash; Southwest and West Coast</li> <li><a href="https://www.yummy.com/">Yummy</a> &mdash; Los Angeles</li> <li><a href="http://www.deliveer.com">Deliveer</a> &mdash; Los Angeles and Vancouver</li> <li><a href="https://kalecart.com/">KaleCart </a>&mdash; Los Angeles</li> </ul> <h2>6. Meal in a Box</h2> <p>There are several &quot;meal in a box&quot; options, where the recipes and all the necessary ingredients are delivered right to your door. These meal subscription services can be delivered on a weekly, monthly, or less frequent basis. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-monthly-subscription-box-services?ref=seealso">The 10 Best Monthly Subscription Box Services</a>). Some of the most popular options include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.blueapron.com/">Blue Apron</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-11292017-1439826671000">Hello Fresh</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-11891629-1439420197000">Plated</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?B=778399&amp;U=255320&amp;M=58818&amp;urllink=">Sun Basket</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.din.co">Din</a></li> <li><a href="https://greenchef.com/home">Green Chef</a></li> <li><a href="https://gobble.com/">Gobble</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.peachdish.com/">PeachDish</a></li> </ul> <h2>7. Restaurant Delivery Services and Takeout</h2> <p>There is nothing easier than ordering a full meal for delivery straight from your computer or smartphone. Several meal delivery services, like Postmates and DoorDash, will also make a stop at your local drug or grocery store. Some of the most popular restaurant delivery service providers include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.grubhub.com/">GrubHub</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.seamless.com/">Seamless</a></li> <li><a href="http://eat24hours.com/">Eat24</a></li> <li><a href="https://postmates.com/">Postmates</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.doordash.com/">DoorDash</a></li> </ul> <h2>How the Services Work</h2> <p>All you need to do is place your grocery order online or through a mobile app. You can even reference previous orders and favorite items for later. Once you place your order, you can schedule a delivery time, and sit back and wait. Most services offer same-day delivery, some within the hour. Your items will be carefully protected and temperature-controlled during transit, arriving fresh and ready to enjoy.</p> <p>One drawback to online grocery shopping is not being able to pick out your own items. If you are picky about certain foods (like produce), mention that in your delivery notes for your professional shopper.</p> <h2>Will You End Up Spending More?</h2> <p>Online grocery delivery services are not necessarily more expensive than traditional grocery shopping. In fact, many online grocers offer costs that rival or beat your local store's prices. If you factor in that most shoppers spend at least 10% of their budget on impulse buys, you can save quite a bit by shopping online.</p> <p>When you shop online, you cannot take advantage of any printed coupons. On the other hand, you can find unique online discounts and promo codes that in-store shoppers won't have. Delivery fees are also very reasonable, especially when you factor in what you would normally be spending on gas. To save even more, make sure to only purchase groceries when you have a fairly large order &mdash; smaller orders actually incur higher delivery fees.</p> <p><em>Have you ordered food or groceries for delivery? What was your experience like? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-fresh-food-delivery-services-that-can-save-you-big">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-reusable-straws">The 5 Best Reusable Straws</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-the-takeout-meal-cycle-and-save">How to Stop the Takeout Meal Cycle and Save</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-should-always-buy-girl-scout-cookies">7 Reasons You Should Always Buy Girl Scout Cookies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/put-it-in-a-pie-for-fast-frugal-food">Put it in a Pie for Fast, Frugal Food</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping grocery delivery meals personal shoppers subscriptions take out Wed, 28 Oct 2015 11:15:16 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1601079 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Newspaper or Magazine Subscriptions That Are Actually Worth the Cost http://www.wisebread.com/5-newspaper-or-magazine-subscriptions-that-are-actually-worth-the-cost <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-newspaper-or-magazine-subscriptions-that-are-actually-worth-the-cost" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/newspaper_000020671239.jpg" alt="Woman reading newspaper through subscription that&#039;s worth the money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Any newspaper or magazine you actually read is worthy of its subscription value. But there are a few publications that offer some additional benefits. From buyer's remorse prevention to stress relief, a subscription to one of these publications is worth the price &mdash; and more.</p> <h2>1. Consumer Reports</h2> <p>The expert product ratings contained in just one issue of <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/index.htm">Consumer Reports</a> could save you from making purchase mistakes that no customer service hotline could fix. This consumer's bible is one of the most highly regarded resources for folks cutting through the spin of advertising in order to identify which consumer products are safe, reliable, and fairly priced. If you've ever bought a product that didn't live up to its name, you know how valuable such a guidebook can be. A subscription to the magazine gets you access not only to new product reviews, but also more than 7,000 archived ratings for appliances, home and gardening tools, electronics, baby gear, food products, and cars.</p> <h2>2. Mindful</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mindful.org/mindful-magazine/current-issue">Mindful</a> magazine celebrates being mindful in all aspects of daily living. Its pages are filled with how-to guides and anecdotal stories on topics like yoga, meditation, eating with intention, taking time to appreciate nature, and decluttering your home. In short, it's filled with inspiration and guides to achieving inner peace, happiness, and wellness. If you're inspired to meditate after reading a Mindful story about the ancient practice, you'd be well on your way to feeling happier, focused, and more even-keeled. And if you were to follow their <a href="http://www.mindful.org/mindful-magazine/5-ways-to-declutter-your-home-and-mind">guide to decluttering</a> material objects from your living space, you'd be opening yourself up to greater personal fulfillment and self-confidence. Simply reading the magazine won't change your life for the better, but applying its teachings certainly may.</p> <h2>3. Your Local Newspaper</h2> <p>The average American family can <a href="https://nchmarketing.com/assets/0/16/33/37/246f9f1d97554980b20a36bf999712a2.pdf">save up to $1,000</a> a year with coupons, and your local newspaper &mdash; particularly the Sunday edition &mdash; is chock full of them. But there's much more to gain by subscribing to your local broadsheet than supermarket savings. News about jobs, crime, weather, politics, traffic, and building and permitting regulations are essential to navigating modern life. Local news enthusiasts are also more <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/2012/04/12/72-of-americans-follow-local-news-closely/">connected to their communities</a>, which just so happens to be an <a href="http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/topic/connecting/connection-happiness">indicator of wellness</a> and health. Belonging to a community gives us a strong sense of identity that researchers say can lead to fewer stress-related health problems, lower risk of mental illness, and faster recovery from trauma or illness.</p> <h2>4. The New York Times</h2> <p>From its searing photographic account of a massacre by <a href="http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/21/witness-to-a-massacre-in-a-nairobi-mall/">gun-wielding terrorists</a> at a Nairobi shopping mall, to an investigation into the millions of dollars in <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/30/world/africa/ransoming-citizens-europe-becomes-al-qaedas-patron.html">secret payments</a> by European nations to ransom hostages held by the Islamic State; The <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/">New York Times</a> produces some of the finest reporting and storytelling in the world. And that was just last year.</p> <p>Since 1990, the paper has had 117 <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/do-pulitzers-help-newspapers-keep-readers/">Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists</a>, more than any other publication. The Pulitzer is widely considered to be the top prize for excellence in journalism, and the fact that the Gray Lady has racked up so many is telling of the value of a subscription. In addition to hard-hitting news, the Times is also a top source for feature stories, travel reporting, health and wellness news, and up-and-coming trends and events in the arts.</p> <h2>5. TIME For Kids</h2> <p>In a survey by Rutgers University, 92% of teachers said classroom magazines like TIME For Kids improve <a href="http://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/resource/uploads_classmag/Research%20and%20Results/Survey.pdf">student interest in reading</a>. Now, what parent wouldn't want that? This weekly news magazine puts interesting, educational, and age-appropriate content in the hands of kids with the goal of making them motivated and excited about reading. A powerful teaching tool, <a href="http://www.timeforkids.com/">TIME For Kids</a> builds reading and writing skills while reinforcing curriculum in subjects like social studies, science, and math. Plus, every issue of the classroom magazine addresses the new <a href="http://www.timeforkids.com/info/what-you-get">Common Core State Standards</a>, further supporting our kids' efforts to succeed at school.</p> <p><em>Which subscriptions are essentials in your household?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-newspaper-or-magazine-subscriptions-that-are-actually-worth-the-cost">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exposed-magazine-subscription-rates-complete-bs">Exposed: Magazine subscription rates complete BS.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/52-uses-for-rubber-bands">52 Uses for Rubber Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips consumer reports magazines newspapers reading subscriptions Thu, 02 Apr 2015 15:00:21 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1366064 at http://www.wisebread.com Love Accessories? Surprise Yourself With a Wantable Box http://www.wisebread.com/love-accessories-surprise-yourself-with-a-wantable-box <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/love-accessories-surprise-yourself-with-a-wantable-box" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/golden-jewelry-gifts-Dollarphotoclub_47182875.jpg" alt="golden jewelry gifts" title="golden jewelry gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are subscription boxes for nearly every kind of product: healthy snacks, dog goodies, coffee and tea, and even craft supplies! For those of you who are into fashion and makeup, it may be worth your while to check out <a href="http://partners.wantable.co/c/27771/44522/1319">Wantable</a>.</p> <h2>About Wantable</h2> <p>Wantable knows that each person has unique tastes and preferences, so they use a style quiz to make sure they send products their customers will love. You start by choosing a product category: makeup, accessories, intimates, or fitness. Then, answer about 30 questions about the kinds of products that you like or dislike &mdash; and it really is just indicating whether you love, like, or dislike the options they present to you. And for $36 a month or $40 for a one-time box (pricing for fitness boxes works a little differently), Wantable will send you a box of goodies handpicked by their stylists.</p> <h2>The Goodies</h2> <p>I have tried a few makeup boxes, but I found that I don&rsquo;t use makeup often enough to really enjoy the value. Accessories, though? Bring them on! Here&rsquo;s what I reported as my loves, likes, and dislikes when I took the style quiz for the accessories box:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Love:</strong> Mx &lsquo;n Match, Classic, Hair Accessories, Necklaces, Earrings</li> <li><strong>Like:</strong> Boho, Rock &lsquo;n Roll, Scarves, Bracelets, Multi Tone, Gold Tone, Silver Tone</li> <li><strong>Dislike:</strong> Glam, Sunglasses, Watches, Rings</li> </ul> <p>Here&rsquo;s what I found in my box.</p> <h3>Olivia Necklace</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable-nov-olivia.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p>There are a few Wantable pieces that I love on sight, and the Olivia Necklace is one of them. I love mixed materials in my jewelry &mdash; adds interest, you know? And the ombre effect of maroon, red, and pink is gorgeous. I&rsquo;ve worn this necklace a handful of times already, for both casual and dressy occasions, and it made every outfit <i>pop!</i></p> <p><em>Retail value: $32</em></p> <h3>Shannon Hair Tie in Gold</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable-nov-shannon.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p>I like the idea of the Shannon Hair Tie (I was <i>thiiis</i> close to buying a similar chain hair tie at a craft fair booth once) but unfortunately, it isn&rsquo;t as practical as I&rsquo;d hoped. The elastic slips through the links if I try to loop it around my hair three times; if I keep it at two, the hair tie falls out of my stubby ponytail in seconds. It will probably work fine for someone with hair that&rsquo;s of a different texture or volume from mine. <i>My</i> hair, not so much.</p> <p>It makes a very cute bracelet, though.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $8</em></p> <h3>Amy Earrings in Silver</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable-nov-amy.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p>The Amy Earrings are long, silver spikes. Simple, yes! But don&rsquo;t underestimate the punch of these studs. There&rsquo;s an edgy, dramatic feel to these earrings, which I like. They&rsquo;re also supremely versatile, which I like even more. As a neutral metal, in a very basic shape, this set of earrings will look great with anything in my closet.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $15</em></p> <h3>Ashley Scarf</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable-nov-ashley.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p>I have worn the Ashley scarf nearly every day since I got it. There is pretty much every color in the feather print &mdash; which means clashing colors is not an issue. It is soft, it is warm (but not too warm!), and since it&rsquo;s an infinity scarf, there aren&rsquo;t any ends to get in my way when I need to roll up my sleeves and get things done.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $18</em></p> <h2>Is It Worth It?</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable-nov_0.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p>The retail value of the accessories in this box totaled $73, which means a savings of $33&hellip;so a 47% discount on everything in the box. Although the chain hair tie didn&rsquo;t work out for me, I know that I&rsquo;ll get a ton of use out of the other pieces. So, yes, this box is definitely worth it! <a href="http://partners.wantable.co/c/27771/44522/1319">Sign up for Wantable today</a>!</p> <p><em>Disclaimer: I received a free box for an honest review.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/love-accessories-surprise-yourself-with-a-wantable-box">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/love-makeup-or-jewelry-surprise-yourself-with-a-wantable-box">Love Makeup or Jewelry? Surprise Yourself With a Wantable Box.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-wantables-statement-accessories-say-yay-or-nay">Do Wantable&#039;s Statement Accessories Say Yay or Nay?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wantable-accessories-funky-elegance-at-a-discount">Wantable Accessories: Funky Elegance at a Discount</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wantable-designer-accessories-at-discount-prices">Wantable: Designer Accessories at Discount Prices</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/try-a-wantable-box-if-you-like-pretty-high-quality-surprises">Try a Wantable Box If You Like Pretty, High-Quality Surprises</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping accessories subscriptions Wantable Fri, 09 Jan 2015 10:00:11 +0000 Amy Lu 1277866 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What Subscriptions Do You Pay For? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-subscriptions-do-you-pay-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-what-subscriptions-do-you-pay-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4851547572_379416cff3_z-1.jpg" alt="What Subscriptions Do You Pay For?" title="What Subscriptions Do You Pay For?" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-subscriptions-do-you-pay-for#comment-558816"><em>Guest</em></a><em>, Leigh, and Amber for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>There are so many subscription services available today. Everyone has heard of the traditional magazine and newspaper subscriptions. Many people subscribe to Netflix. But did you know there are subscription services that will deliver food, activities for your kids, books, and even clothes to you each month?</p> <p><b>What subscriptions do you pay for?</b><span style="font-weight:normal"> Magazines? Newspapers? Netflix? A food delivery service? If you don't have any subscriptions, do you ever find yourself buying magazines at the grocery store checkout or paying for movie rentals at Blockbuster?</span></p> <p>Tell us what subscriptions you pay for and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:&nbsp;</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> <a id="rc-79857d3" class="rafl" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857d3/">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> <script src="//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js"></script> <script src="//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js"></script> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, November 5th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after November 5th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> </ul><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us what subscriptions you pay for and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-subscriptions-do-you-pay-for">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-optimistic-about-2011">Ask the Readers: Are You Optimistic About 2011?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-share-your-favorite-frugal-holiday-tradition">Ask the Readers: Share Your Favorite Frugal Holiday Tradition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-whats-your-favorite-discovery-of-2010">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s Your Favorite Discovery of 2010</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers subscriptions Tue, 30 Oct 2012 10:01:29 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 955416 at http://www.wisebread.com Turn Your Business Into a Money Machine http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/turn-your-business-into-a-money-machine <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/turn-your-business-into-a-money-machine" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/turn-your-business-into-a-money-machine</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/turn-your-business-into-a-money-machine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000004530468Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Wildly successful businesses often find one process that works and then repeat it as many times as possible. If you can figure out what this process for your business, then you can grow at an alarming rate. For example, if you know that for every $1 you put in, you will get $2 out, then you can grow without fear. Some people call this achieving scale. Some people call it a money machine. Some people just call it good business.</p> <p>Regardless of what you call it, I'm assuming you would like your business to be a money machine. Here are three ideas that should help you do just that.</p> <p><strong>1. Know Your Customer Lifetime Value</strong></p> <p>Your Customer Lifetime Value is simply the amount of value that the average customer brings to your business over a given time span (usually one year).</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re interested in calculating your Customer Lifetime Value, you can find a great explanation of the concept and an Excel spreadsheet that should help you on <a href="http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/analytics-tip-calculate-ltv-customer-lifetime-value/">Occam's Razor</a>.</p> <p>Long story short, once you know how much each customer is worth to you, then you know with certainty how much you can spend to get a new customer. For example, if you make $15 of profit with each customer, then you can spend $14 bringing a new one in the door and still stay in business.</p> <p><strong>2. Be Willing to Pay for Customers</strong></p> <p>To some of you, this will seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many business owners are hesitant to spend money to make money.</p> <p>Instead, they tell themselves things like...</p> <p>&quot;I'll start an email list and do some SEO. Then everyone will sign up and I can pitch them products.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;I want to create the next Facebook for motorcycle enthusiasts. All of the bikers and gear heads will come join my community for free and then I can make money on advertising.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;The foundation of my business is referrals. After all, that's the best strategy right? Happy customers will always bring you more customers.&quot;</p> <p>Now, there is nothing &quot;wrong&quot; with the above statements. And I certainly don't suggest recklessly spending your money (more on that in a moment). But it is important to understand that successful businesses pay to bring quality customers in the door.</p> <p><strong>3. Create a Closed Feedback Loop</strong></p> <p>If you want to create a money machine and not waste your precious cash in the process, then you need to have a way to track what works and what doesn't. You need a feedback loop for each marketing and advertising activity you do.</p> <p>Feedback loop is just a fancy way of saying, &quot;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/methods-of-measuring-e-commerce-financial-performance-1">track where your sales come from</a>.&quot; You should know exactly which advertising campaigns, marketing initiatives, and actions bring in the most customers.</p> <p>Yes, it will take some effort to set this up, but it will be well worth it.</p> <p>Once this feedback loop has been created, then you know for sure where your profits are being generated. That's when you have a money machine on your hands. You know how much your customers are worth to you. You know how much you can spend to acquire them. You know which actions generate the most profit.</p> <p>Business is good when you know that you can put $1 into the machine and get $3 out the other end.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blurb-amex"> <div class="field-label">AMEX Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> This is a <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/turn-your-business-into-a-money-machine" title="Turn Your Business Into a Money Machine">reprint of Wise Bread's contribution</a> to OPEN Forum from American Express -- where small business owners can get advice from experts and share tips with each other. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/james-clear">James Clear</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/turn-your-business-into-a-money-machine">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/freelance-your-way-to-more-income-and-flexibility">Freelance Your Way to More Income and Flexibility</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10 Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement">5 Smart Ways to Meet a Rewards Card Minimum Spending Requirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center business metrics business planning business strategy pricing strategy small business subscriptions Thu, 03 Nov 2011 18:37:37 +0000 James Clear 764356 at http://www.wisebread.com Subscription Software: A Good Financial Choice http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/subscription-software-a-good-financial-choice <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/subscription-software-a-good-financial-choice-thursday-bram" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/subscription-software-a-g...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/subscription-software-a-good-financial-choice" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000001526011XSmall.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Subscription software offers some cost-saving opportunities for the typical small business. Where more traditional software limits the number of computers it can be used on &mdash; requiring a separate license for your home computer and for your office computer &mdash; many subscription software options simply require that you have enough user names for each employee that will be using the software. More often than not, subscription software is web-based, allowing you access to the tools you and your business need from any computer with an internet connection.</p> <p>The reduction in cost goes beyond just the number of licenses. If you have an ongoing subscription to a certain piece of software, you won't need to buy an upgraded version of the software every time a programmer makes some changes. Instead, the changes are simply available to you as a part of your subscription. If you are using a web-based tool, you may have access to an upgraded version before you even know that changes are in the works.</p> <h3>The Downside to Subscription Software</h3> <p>On the surface, subscription software seems like an easy solution to many technology concerns that small businesses face. It certainly cuts down on certain types of <a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;218396076;41475586;v?http://www201.americanexpress.com/sbsapp/FMACServlet?request_type=alternateChannels&amp;lpid=298&amp;openeep=17460&amp;ccsgeep=17460">costs</a>. However, because the subscription software model relies on charging users a reoccurring fee, typically monthly, there's no guarantee that you'll come out ahead financially.</p> <p>Most online tools come with significantly lower price tags than their one-purchase counterparts. In many cases, the monthly fee is less than if the creator had divided the full cost by twelve, spreading the cost over a year. <a href="https://www.salesforce.com/">Salesforce</a>, for instance, offers its most basic plan for $5 a month. Other customer relationship management software are available for a flat, one-time price &mdash; but that price is usually closer to $100. That's not the whole story, of course. That is only the most basic plan Salesforce offers, after all. The software provider has plans ranging in price up to $250 per month and you have to pay to add each additional user you want to have access to your account.</p> <p>Those numbers can add up quickly, especially since subscription software providers work hard to make sure that your business sticks with the service as long as possible. The financial decisions can be easy to make when you're thinking of using a particular tool for a year, but when you start thinking in terms of two years or more, those same decisions can be a lot easier to make. It's tough to determine just how soon you'll need to upgrade, as well as other factors that determine the long-term cost of the software your company needs.</p> <h3>An Easy Entry Point</h3> <p>One of the factors that can make subscription software a better choice for new businesses is that it offers easy options for getting your systems set up and working quickly. It's rare that a small business has a full-time IT staff that can get software up and running for you. But relying on a web-based subscription software can eliminate concerns about how well certain programs will work together and even about getting support. Subscription software providers have more incentive to provide you with great customer support because they need to make sure you won't cancel your service.</p> <p>It's also easy to grow with subscription software. When you hire a new team member who needs access to your tools, it's often just a question of clicking a few buttons to add a new user to a piece of subscription software. You may need to upgrade your plan and pay a little more per month, but the actual work necessary is minimal. If you're in an industry where time is at a premium, the amount of time such software can save you can be more than worth any price difference you may be worried about.</p> <p>Overall, subscription software can provide a simpler approach than trying to manage a variety of hardware and software options &mdash; a juggling act necessary if you buy most software outright. Whether or not that simplicity is enough to make subscriptions more cost-effective in the long run for your company is something that can vary from company to company.</p> <h3>The Viability of Subscription Software</h3> <p>There is one key concern that should not be ignored as you look at subscription software options: whether that particular piece of software will still be around a few years from now. Right now, there are many new tools available online, on a subscription basis. However, it's not unheard of for a popular piece of subscription software to disappear almost as quickly as it was created. Not all new software companies are able to provide their clients with a guarantee of viability.</p> <p>Switching between certain subscription software sites can be a difficult process, making it necessary to take concerns into account from the start. No business owner wants to be in the position where he has to move data from one piece of software to another by hand, retyping or copying and pasting each section. To avoid such a situation, it's important to rely on software options that include the ability to export information, preferably into a format such as a spreadsheet or a text file. It's even better if you can find an option that allows you to share information between different applications.</p> <p>There is one group attempting to make sure that small businesses have a variety of subscription software options, with an emphasis on providing tools that can communicate between themselves. The <a href="http://www.thesmallbusinessweb.com/">Small Business Web</a> includes a variety of companies, all of whom make web-based applications that are becoming more integrated. For instance, if you use CRM software created by a member of the group, you can use the data already stored in that application to send out newsletters through newsletter software developed by another member of the organization.</p> <p>With new tools being developed every day, having different software packages that work well together can make an important difference in how quickly your business can accomplish many tasks.</p> <script type="text/javascript"> federated_media_section = "gold"; </script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/subscription-software-a-good-financial-choice">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10 Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center small business subscriptions Sat, 17 Jul 2010 02:33:12 +0000 Thursday Bram 118264 at http://www.wisebread.com Three Unique Subscription Services that Might Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/three-unique-subscription-services-that-might-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/three-unique-subscription-services-that-might-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mail.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Most of us have used a subscription service in our lifetime.<span>  </span>Cable TV, magazines, and movies are usually purchased in monthly installments.<span>  </span>I recently took a look at three subscription services that were a bit off the beaten path:<span>  </span>MagHound, BabyPlays, and BookSwim.<span>   </span>But are they a good deal?<span> </span> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">If you’ve ever considered convenience or variety to be valuable, you may find these services to be especially enticing.<span>  </span>I haven’t used these services personally, so I can’t vouch for the quality of customer service or the integrity of the products shown.<span>  </span>What I can tell you is my experience in purchasing these items traditionally, the cost involved in the subscription plans, and how they could possibly affect your bottom line. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Magazine Subscriptions via MagHound</strong> – This is a very creative way to sell magazines. <span> </span>Time Inc.’s new <a href="http://www.maghound.com/">MagHound</a> offers to bundle several magazine subscriptions at a reduced price.<span>  </span>If you ever tire of any one title, you can switch it out for another, no questions asked.<span>  </span>You can also cancel your subscription at any time. Let’s look at pricing for this service: </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>3 Titles for $4.95</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>5 Titles for $7.95</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>7 Titles for $9.95</strong><span>  </span>(each additional title is $1.00 per month per title) </p> <p class="MsoNormal">If you already subscribe to a bunch of mags, this could be a great deal.<span>  </span>With no contract requiring you to lock in for a year (or more), you can get magazines for as long as you like (and cancel if you find yourself not being able to justify the cost.)<span>  </span>Titles are quality, and at a cost of between $1.50 - $1.60 per mag, per month, it’s a huge savings over newsstand prices.<span>  </span>For a magazine like <a href="https://subs.realsimple.com/SM/sm_rfpurseprem0908.jhtml?experience_id=208232&amp;source_id=72&amp;_requestid=24673&amp;_requestid=24673">Real Simple</a>, which charges almost $24 a year (or $2 per issue) on their website, this is a substantial savings.<span>  </span>Other magazines, like <a href="https://subscribe.hearstmags.com/subscribe/splits/redbook/rbk_sub_nav_link">Redbook</a>, only charge $5.99 for 12 issues (or $.50 per issue) from their own site. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Bottom line</strong>:<span>  </span>You could probably score as good a deal on your own, or through another magazine reseller.<span>  </span>If you’re already indulge in several magazine subscriptions, MagHound could make it easier to manage subscriptions, with no obligation to buy further issues.<span>  </span><strong>If you’re not already subscribing, however, I wouldn’t suggest adding $4.95 (or almost $60 per year) to your budget. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong> </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Toy rental subscriptions via BabyPlays</strong> – Maybe your kid is like most and bores easily with that overpriced toy just days after you buy it.<span>  </span>If so, you may consider renting an assortment of toys on a monthly basis:<span>  </span>This is the premise of <a href="https://www.babyplays.com/">BabyPlays.com</a>.<span>  </span>Just like Netflix (but with toys), you can check out toys on a monthly basis, and rotate them with new ones when you’re done.<span>  </span>Keep the ones that go over well for longer, or choose to buy them for a discount.<span>  </span>BabyPlays includes shipping in your monthly fee, so there’s no hassle beyond packing up your “done with” toys.<span>  </span>Pricing for this service is set at: </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Silver - 4 Toys per month (3 month commitment) for $36.99 per month</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Extended Play - 5 Toys per month (6 month commitment) for $26.99 per month</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Gold - 6 Toys per month (3 month commitment) for $47.99 per month</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Gold Plus - 6 Toys per month (12 month commitment) for $42.99 per month</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Platinum - 10 Toys per month (3 month commitment) for $64.99 per month</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>*All toys can be returned every 30 days, except for the Extended Play plan, which only allows for returns every 60.</strong> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">The way the pricing is set, toys will cost between $5.40 per toy per month (for the Extended Play plan) and $9.24 per toy per month for the (Silver plan.)<span>  </span>If you lose a piece from a toy, you have 30 days to find and return it, or be charged a $5-10 fee.<span>  </span>If you fail to properly clean up a toy, you may be charged a $5 fee.<span>  </span>If you break a toy, you must buy it at the reduced price (20% below retail.)<span>  </span>You can also choose to buy any toys you want to keep at this same price.<span> </span> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Bottom Line</strong>:<span>  </span>If you are using the service to rent low-cost toys (a puzzle that cost $8, for example) this isn’t really good deal.<span>  </span>You could buy new toys for the same cost, and either resell them or donate them to charity if your child really grew that tired of them.<span>  </span>For pricier items that you may not want to take the chance on, it may be simply an OK deal.<span>  </span>Larger toys offered through the service (like the $55 <a href="https://www.babyplays.com/toys/dispToy.cfm?Toy_ID=55">Zoom Around Garage</a>) will count as 2 toys in your rental service.<span>  </span><strong>Personally, I’d recommend shopping garage sales, thrift stores, or clearance racks for toys before I overspend on this service.</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong> </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Book rental subscriptions via BookSwim</strong> – I’ve heard a bunch of good stuff regarding this book rental service.<span>  </span>In a nutshell, you check out books much like movies, sending them back when you’re done and getting new ones when they’re available.<span>  </span>The plans cost the following prices for an unlimited number of exchanges per month: </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>3 at a time for $9.95 the first month (then $19.98 a month thereafter)<br /></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>5 at a time for $12.45 the first month (then $24.97 a month thereafter)<br /></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>7 at a time for $14.94 the first month (then $29.96 a month thereafter) </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>9 at a time for $17.44 the first month (then $34.95 a month thereafter)<br /></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>11 at a time for $19.93 the first month (then $39.94 a  month thereafter)<br /></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>*There’s also a 2 at a time plan for $14.99 a month (not including a first month at a discount, but why would anyone get this rotten deal? <br /></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The pricing on this service will cost you between $1.81 and $3.31 per book, per month (not including the atrocious 2 at a time deal) THE FIRST MONTH ONLY (then prices go up. <span>  </span>If you can handle having your books shipped via USPS media mail (which can take between 4 and 14 days to arrive), you may get one or two new books per rotation.<span>  </span>Here’s the big IF in the matter:<span> </span>Because <a href="http://www.bookswim.com/">BookSwim</a> makes you mail back books in bunches (anywhere from 2 to 4 at a time), it may limit your ability to exchange books quickly.<span>  </span>If you can get just one exchange per book per month for the first month, it decreases your book cost to between $.90 and $1.65 per book. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Bottom Line:</strong><span>  </span>If you have a well-stocked library close by, and you enjoy making the walk/drive/ride, this isn’t a necessary service.<span>  </span>Those in remote locations or who fear library late fees, however, might find BookSwim to be an angel from heaven.<span>  </span>This is a service that will fair best for the well-read or the homebound.<span>  </span><strong>Traditional library geeks might want to save their money.</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><em>Do you have any extra advice to share with our readers regarding these three services?  What about any competitors offering similar subscriptions?  We&#39;d love to hear about it! </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-unique-subscription-services-that-might-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter">9 Gifts That Won&#039;t Become Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn">9 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Autumn</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-deals-to-look-for-at-pawn-shops-thrift-shops-and-other-weird-stores">The Deals to Look for at Pawn Shops, Thrift Shops, and Other Weird Stores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-leaks-you-need-to-plug">7 Money Leaks You Need to Plug</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping babyplays bookswim maghound subscriptions Fri, 07 Nov 2008 05:33:00 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2569 at http://www.wisebread.com Exposed: Magazine subscription rates complete BS. http://www.wisebread.com/exposed-magazine-subscription-rates-complete-bs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/exposed-magazine-subscription-rates-complete-bs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/200268_rolled_up_magazines.jpg" alt="mag" title="mag" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="272" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever wondered about the validity of those &quot;special offer magazine subscriptions&quot; you get in your mailbox? As someone who gets most of his magazines for free through various free subscription sites, I never really gave it much thought. But then I read an article by Chris Anderson, of Wired magazine, and he exposes some ugly truths about subscriptions.</p> <p>Longtail.com recently published an article by Mr. Anderson that highlights the trcikery involved in magazine subscriptions. You can read the complete article <a href="http://www.longtail.com/the_long_tail/2007/11/when-is-my-indu.html">here </a> but this excerpt gives you the meat of the argument. All you need to do is take out any of the &quot;special offers&quot; you receive in your mailbox (I get them daily) and cross-reference them with the following list of facts.</p> <ul> <li>there is no such thing as a &quot;special courtesy rate&quot;</li> <li>&quot;guaranteed savings&quot; is a meaningless phrase (and indeed you can often find magazine subscriptions cheaper through an agent--check eBay--or a credit card loyalty program)</li> <li>it makes no difference if you reply by the &quot;reply by&quot; date </li> <li>&quot;statement of benefits itemization&quot; are just empty words meant to invoke an invoice</li> <li>all those &quot;free&quot; or &quot;included&quot; things are just the regular content that&#39;s in the mag for everyone. </li> </ul> <p>The basic marketing logic behind all of this is based on consumer gullibility. If you tell them that you must reply by a certain date, then guess what, they will. If you tell them they&#39;re getting a special courtesy rate, they&#39;ll feel special. </p> <p>This goes way beyond magazine subs, too. One tactic I&#39;m increasingly sick of is the seasonal sale. In Colorado, we have a store called American Furniture Warehouse. And they have a sale every day of the year. If it&#39;s July 4th, it&#39;s the Independence Day sale. If it&#39;s Labor Day weekend, the same. But when there&#39;s no particular holiday, they make one up. &quot;The boss is on vacation&quot; or &quot;Falling prices in fall&quot; or any other trite link is used, and it works. The store is always chock full of consumers looking for a bargain. And these stores can get away with it because as long as something in the store is genuinely on sale, they&#39;re in the clear. Most of the items in the sale are the same price the whole year round.</p> <p>And this gets us back to magazines. Those subscription rates you can get by just calling up a contact number in any magazine and asking for the subscription department. You don&#39;t need a savings card or an invitation, magazines are happy to give you a stellar rate because it increases their readership figures, which means higher advertising revenues. Cha-ching. </p> <p>So, next time you think you&#39;re getting snowed by a magazine subscription offer, just call and ask for a better rate. You&#39;ll most likely get it. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exposed-magazine-subscription-rates-complete-bs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/im-as-mad-as-hell-and-im-not-going-to-take-this-anymore">&quot;I&#039;M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I&#039;M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it">Is Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-a-dental-discount-plan-save-you-money">Will A Dental Discount Plan Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-newspaper-or-magazine-subscriptions-that-are-actually-worth-the-cost">5 Newspaper or Magazine Subscriptions That Are Actually Worth the Cost</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/black-friday-black-in-more-ways-than-one-0">Black Friday...black in more ways than one</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs deception lies magazines rates savings subscriptions underhanded Sun, 02 Dec 2007 06:32:02 +0000 Paul Michael 1448 at http://www.wisebread.com